LAWYERS at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) are furious because a newly hired lawyer reported to be the apple of President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s eye landed a top post, which they said should have gone to a senior lawyer.
The lawyers were fighting for the position of assistant director for the DILG’s Legal Department, which was given to 29-year-old Mariness “Kim” Ledesma.
Ledesma vied for two vacant items of lawyer IV, a position equivalent to an assistant division chief.
A two-page appointment order dated December 11, 2013 and signed by Personnel Division Officer-in-Charge Veronica Macabate showed that Ledesma was promoted to the rank of Attorney IV.
The other post went to Gina Wenceslao.
Other lawyers who got their new appointments are Edward Ong as Attorney III, Sweet Charity Lao (Atty. III), Vera Shayne Salcedo (Atty. III) and Isidro Barrios (Atty. III).
Ledesma, said to be the President’s latest “love interest,” joined the DILG after Secretary Mar Roxas came in. She was assigned to the office of Undersecretary Rafael Santos.
She bested at least 10 lawyers who had been counting years at the legal division and who also applied for the vacant slot.
In September, at least 10 lawyers appealed to Santos to reconsider what they described as the “pending appointment” of Ledesma to the senior post.
In a three-page letter, the lawyers cited a present policy of the department when it comes to implementing a merit promotions as their reason to request for reconsideration on the selection of Ledesma.
Ledesma’s new appointment, according to DILG sources, would serve as an “express lane” to the office of the Legal Service Division chief, which was also left vacant after the early retirement of Director Jesus Doque 4th in October.
With Doque out, the Legal Service has been left with no head, leaving the door open for Ledesma’s promotion again.